Veterans

Opinion: California’s Infrastructure is Crumbling. Veterans Can Help Fix It.

November 11, 2019 by Source

By Nicole Ueno / November 11, 2019

As state lawmakers rush to increase housing density in California, demographers estimate that our population will continue to increase by 300,000 to 400,000 people annually.

Essential infrastructure like roads, bridges, water pipelines and dams are already in disrepair, and increased strains from additional projected use are causing concern over the long-term sustainability of resident population growth.

A recent report from the League of California Cities states that “Numerous studies suggest that not only is the state unprepared for future growth, its current condition does not adequately support today’s population. Quite simply, California’s infrastructure is crumbling.”

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Veterans for Peace Stage ‘Hometown Arlington West’

November 11, 2019 by Source

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The Toll of Endless War on American Veterans

November 11, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

As America’s endless wars grind on, largely out of view, we have become good at bombastic displays of patriotism at ballgames and other public venues, but underneath our ritualized nods to the service of our veterans the unseen psychic toll suffered by those who fight our wars remains mostly invisible.

In fact, in the age of the all-volunteer military, most of us don’t really need to think that much about it.

Still the suffering is deep and pervasive, like it or not. Many of us don’t know that one out of ten homeless people on the street is a veteran (with some estimates putting it much higher). Thus, despite our official love of veterans, as a society we are clearly quite comfortable treating them like disposable people. Think about that the next time you see somebody sleeping in a storefront doorway: perhaps that person risked their life for your country.

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Winter Is Coming and Vets for Peace Still Provide Sleeping Bags to People Who Are Homeless

October 14, 2019 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

When my husband Bob was alive, he was a member of the local Veterans for Peace Organization (as well as a docent for the Star of India). He has been gone a little over ten years and as a memorial to him I made a donation to the VFP to purchase sleeping bags for those that are less fortunate than I am in that I have a warm bed, heat, and three meals a day.

Whatever the reason may be that there are so many homeless in San Diego, the fact is that the numbers are mind-boggling.

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Congress to Expand Investigation into San Diego VA Liver Study

October 4, 2019 by Source

by Jill Castellano & Brad Racino / inewsource / October 1, 2019

Congress will conduct a hearing to investigate a powerful healthcare office in the Department of Veterans Affairs following inewsource stories that exposed the office’s shoddy review of a dangerous San Diego liver study. A new inewsource analysis shows the agency under scrutiny — the VA’s Office of the Medical Inspector — has a long history of performing poor investigations into veterans’ medical care.

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2 UCSD Doctors Publish Paper Based on Research From Unethically Collected Samples of Veterans Without Their Consent

June 4, 2019 by Source

by Brad Racino & Jill Castellano / inewsource / May 30, 2019

Two prominent doctors associated with the University of California San Diego and the local VA used blood and stool samples taken from sick veterans to bolster a paper published this month in an academic research journal.

The specimens were not supposed to be used, according to the project’s lead researcher, because they were part of a study that unethically collected biological samples from living subjects without their consent, which investigators called “serious noncompliance.”

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Reader Rant: ‘We Must Do More for the Women and Children Living on Our Streets’

April 3, 2019 by Source

Are we helping those most in need?

By David Patterson

Kudos to the Alpha Project and Chelsea Investments for their success getting homeless Veterans into apartments as outlined by Gary Warth, UT San Diego, March 31 2019, “Homeless Vets have New home”.

Great work done by all, but now it’s time to prioritize to get an even more vulnerable population off the streets, women and children.

It may sound unbelievable that we have women and children on the streets but it’s true and frequently we at Veterans For Peace encounter these people while handing out sleeping bags.

Over a month’s time I have encountered dozens of unaccompanied women, 2 different women each with 4 young children including toddlers and a young teen aged couple, cold filthy and according to the female, pregnant. This goes on week after week, month after month with little change in my view. It’s time that we changed our priorities.

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San Diego VA Confirms Liver Samples Taken from Sick Veterans Without their Consent

March 1, 2019 by Source

by Brad Racino & Jill Castellano / inewsource / February 26, 2019

An internal report from the San Diego VA obtained by inewsource reveals liver samples were taken from sick veterans without their permission for a study that provided no benefit to the patients. It’s the latest development in an ongoing inewsource investigation into a flawed human research study at the La Jolla facility.

The October report found “serious noncompliance occurred” when extra pieces of liver were removed from at least nine veterans. The patients weren’t told those samples would be taken or that it could increase the risk of bleeding.

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Not Really a Restaurant Review But a Shout-Out for El Maguey de Cotija

February 5, 2019 by Judi Curry

I know that this restaurant is not in our Ocean Beach / Point Loma area. However, I think that a shout-out should go to them for what they did. What do you think?

My husband – before he passed on – was a member of Veteran’s for Peace. I have kept semi-active in the organization and I think they do some wonderful things.

Today I received this message from Kate Beckwith – a retired Veteran – that hands out sleeping bags with so many others. I think this might be appropriate to repost because it talks about a restaurant – one that should be given plaudits for what they did.

A feel good story about an amazing restaurant…

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The Old Broad Says: ‘Help Veterans for Peace Buy Sleeping Bags for the Homeless’

December 6, 2018 by Judi Curry

As my international students and I ate a “turkeyless” dinner on Thanksgiving, I was reminded of the years my family had to wait for my husband to arrive home because he, and other members of Veterans for Peace, were busy distributing sleeping bags, water, and sometimes candy to the homeless living on the streets.

As my students and I discussed the meaning of Thanksgiving, they asked why the vets’ group distributed sleeping bags, how they got them, and who financed them. The students see people sleeping on the streets every day, since their ESL school is downtown. Miki said there are very few homeless in Japan; Lea said that she has not seen any homeless in Switzerland.

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Local Vets Encourage San Diegans Not to Attend Annual Miramar Air Show Sept. 29-30

August 23, 2018 by Source

By Gilbert Field / Veterans for Peace

Local veterans, friends and supporters from the San Diego Veterans For Peace are in their third year of a five year educational outreach encouraging the public to stay home and not attend the annual Miramar Air Show.

Veterans believe that the Miramar Air Show glorifies war with an exciting show of speed, power and noise. It celebrates the skills and machinery that exist to kill, maim and destroy. The show is very dangerous …. 10% of all Blue Angel pilots have been killed in shows or accidents.

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San Diego Veterans and Nurses to Rally Against Privatization of VA Health Care – Fri. April 13

April 12, 2018 by Source

Some local San Diego veterans and VA Hospital nurses will rally Friday against the proposed privatization of VA health care.

Members of the San Diego Veterans For Peace, accompanied by VA nurses and several veterans who receive VA health care at the La Jolla Veterans Hospital, will be holding a joint rally outside of the La Jolla Veterans Hospital, 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, SD, CA 92161 on Friday, April 13th, 2018 from Noon to 1:30 PM.

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50 Years Ago Today – the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam and the American Soldier Who Stopped It

March 16, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

American Soldiers Killed 504 Vietnamese Civilians Including Many Children – It Could Have Been Worse If Helicopter Pilot Hugh Thompson Hadn’t Landed and Threatened to Shoot Other Americans

In today’s Los Angeles Times, progressive professor Jon Wiener wrote an amazing piece about not only the 50th anniversary of the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam on this day but of Hugh Thompson, an Army helicopter pilot who stopped it.

I met Wiener when I was canvasing members of the faculty at UC Irvine to join a union – I knew him as a prolific writer for The Nation magazine back in the Eighties – and I really expected he would be sympathetic and join. He didn’t – too much local politics on campus under the bridge – I think he said. And for years, I resented his decision not to throw his fate in with others on the campus. But today, from one lefty to another, I forgave him – because of this article. He began:

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The Miramar Air Show: Just Don’t Go

August 31, 2017 by Source

Aircraft on display at the MCAS Miramar Air Show.

By Dave Patterson, San Diego Veterans for Peace

The San Diego Veterans For Peace is now in its second year of working to influence the public away from attending the MCAS Miramar Air Show. We view American militarism as a clear and present danger to our society and the world, and the most visible symbol of militarism in San Diego is the annual Miramar Air Show.

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Miramar Air Show, Just Don’t Go!

June 2, 2017 by Source

By Dave Patterson

Summer is around the corner in San Diego and many of us look forward to the annual traditions, like the Miramar Air Show.

This wildly popular event with perhaps 500,000 attendees brings people from all over the world to see the pilots demonstrate their precision flying and perhaps line up purchases of weapons.

Corporate chalets are available where the weapons vendors can “use their company logo and message to reach 500,000 Air Show Attendees, while the military people risk their lives to entertain the crowd.

More sinister is the promotion of war to our youth …

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Compassion as a Radical Act

January 25, 2017 by Source

compassionBy Dave Patterson / Vets for Peace

On a cold night in January I joined Stan Levin and Gil Field delivering sleeping bags to the San Diego homeless, what we call the compassion campaign. Dealing directly with the homeless is painful because there they are in our faces with their cold, hunger and suffering laid bare.

What’s surprising is the number of people with just a thin blanket that will decline a sleeping bag because others nearby need it more. How ironic that people with nothing can have more compassion than those of us with plenty.

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Remembering Pearl Harbor in the Time of Trump

December 7, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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World War II Vets Would Not Have Stood for President-Elect

Remembering this December 7th – Pearl Harbor Day – has special significance for us today in this new Era of Trump. The 75th anniversary of the attack by Japanese forces on US air and naval power in Hawaii in late 1941 finds few surviving members still with us. And our collective memory of “the day of infamy” – as President Franklin Roosevelt declared it the next day before Congress – which pushed the country into World War II – has all but faded.

But yes, we need to remember this day – and all that it represents – all the contradictions of that historic moment and context. And all the parallels from that day to ours today.

Yet this day does have a special meaning for us now -…

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Honorably Discharged then Dishonorably Deported

September 22, 2016 by Source

Campaign Announced In Response to Crisis of Deported Veterans

By Joe Armenta

Deported VeteransThe injustice faced by hundreds, if not thousands, of U.S. military veterans who are being and have been deported was the focus of a campaign announced Tuesday, September 20th by a broad coalition of leaders including representatives of the veterans community, elected officials, business, labor and immigrant reform communities.

The coalition pledged to drive change for currently deported veterans and those who are facing deportation. Marine Corps veteran and former California Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher has agreed to serve as Chair of the group and stated the following –

“If you were willing to give your life for your country, your country should be willing to give you citizenship.”

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San Diego Veterans to Protest Miramar Air Show

August 18, 2016 by Source

“Bannering” against upcoming airshow on August 18

By San Diego Veterans for Peace

miramarEach year, San Diego hosts the giant Miramar Air Show, which is attended by up to 500,000 people.

This air show is typical of many other air shows around the country in that it attempts to glorify and glamorize war and militarism, as well as being an excellent opportunity for defense contractors and the overall military industrial complex to sell products which lead to the deaths and injuries of so many people on earth.

The San Diego Veterans For Peace, with veteran members of all five services, is opposed to these “war shows” and is asking the public to stay home and to provide more wholesome entertainment to their children and families than the Miramar Air Show provides.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma

July 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB cliff rescue 7-6-16Man Falls to His Death from Sunset Cliffs

An unidentified man fell to his death, Tuesday, July 5th, off Sunset Cliffs, near Ladera Street. …

Is Reader Article on “Aggressive Homeless” Inappropriate Right Now?

There is a new SD Reader article out, published online on July 6th, about how OB is on edge – not because of the killer of homeless on the loose, but because of “aggressive transients”. Badtaste? …

Poke Hotspot Heading to OB

Poke is currently blowing up in San Diego, and the latest hotspot will be take-out hub It’s Raw Poke Shop, heading to Ocean Beach by early August.

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Socks for Homeless Vets Being Collected for Stand Down San Diego

June 24, 2016 by Source
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By South OB Girl

Victor Brown, Field Representative for Speaker Emeritus of the Assembly, Toni Atkins, had his hands full of socks at Wednesday night’s OB Town Council meeting – all donated by local OBceans.

Socks for Stand Down was started in 2015 by State Assembly Member Toni G. Atkins, Speaker Emeritus, after local Stand Down organizers expressed a need for socks and underwear for homeless veterans attending Stand Down.

Under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Stand Down events are one to three-day events providing supplies and services to homeless veterans.

Homeless veterans receive food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, dental care, VA Social Security benefits, and counseling.

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OB Planning Board Meets Wed., June 1: Round-abouts, “Citizens Plan”, and Vets’ Plaza

May 31, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OBPB Meet 5-4-16 board
The OB Planing Board meets Wednesday, June 1st, at the OB Recreation Center. And at the top of their agenda are a series of presentations and updates, with no new development projects up for review by the Board.

Instead, the Board will receive a presentation about the so-called “Citizens Plan for San Diego” by veteran politico, Jeff Marston. This is the plan backed by the Chargers and some environmentalists and public-interest lawyers to construct a new stadium and convention center downtown.

Next up, is a presentation by Joe LaCava, head of the Committee of Planning Committees – a body of all the planning boards and committees across the city – about the City’s goal to install twenty round-abouts throughout the city. We know the City and OB planners have been considering a round-about at the intersection of West Pt Loma and Bacon.

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European Refugees Are Better Off than San Diego’s Homeless

January 13, 2016 by John Lawrence

calais jungleBy John Lawrence

Amy Goodman did a recent show about the refugees living in a camp in Calais, France. She walked around the camp interviewing several refugees all of whom spoke good English.

Most of these people were sleeping in tents similar to the ones you see on the sidewalks of San Diego. Some had built simple structures.

As she walked around, I began to notice some facilities that they had there which are nowhere to be found for the San Diego homeless. First I noticed a dumpster. There’s no dumpster for San Diego’s homeless. The trash just gets left on the street.

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Elizabeth Warren Calls for Us to Sign Her Petition for Social Security COLA Increase

November 16, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Elizabeth Warren Calls for Us to Sign Her Petition for Social Security COLA Increase

Editor: Senator Elizabeth Warren has started a petition to get Congress to pass a Cost of Living increase for Social Security recipients. As of right now there is no annual increase coming – and this is only the 3rd time in the last 40 years that there hasn’t been a COLA increase for those who received Social Security.

Here’s Elizabeth Warren’s call:

On January 1, for just the third time since 1975, seniors who receive Social Security won’t be getting an annual cost-of-living increase. Neither will millions of other Americans whose veterans’ benefits, disability benefits, and other monthly payments are pegged to Social Security.

Will you join me in calling on my fellow members of Congress to give seniors and veterans the raise they deserve?

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No Pictures, No Action at the Ocean Beach CDC Meeting

November 13, 2015 by Source

Report of OB Community Development Corporation Meeting of Thursday, November 12

By Lois Lane

The OB CDC Board Meeting Agenda held at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center promised “Veterans Plaza Committee Report – Closed Session” and it was right. After some usual financial reviews, the President, Tom Perrotti, announced that the Board would take a five minute break and then enter a closed session meeting.

When asked why items related to the Veterans Plaza were not public, he replied “President’s Decision,” and left the room. When he returned after five minutes, he announced,

“We are a 501(c )3 that is not subject to the Brown Act.”

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24-hour Live-feed Police Cameras to Be Installed All Along Ocean Beach Park

September 14, 2015 by Source
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What Does Go On at the Beach Park? A Report of the OB CDC September 10 Meeting

By Lois Lane

Comments From City Returned for Veterans Plaza

The first round of comments has been returned from the City for the Veterans Plaza. Plans are in the works for Estrada Land Planning to make a sort of outline on-site model …

No Contract Yet for Children’s Area – Adult Exercise

Meanwhile, the children’s area and the adult exercise area were a hot topic of discussion, as no contract has yet been let for the design …

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Back to Homeless and Hopeless in San Diego

September 11, 2015 by Source

homelesswomenvets-300x137By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

A week ago, I was sitting in the Denny’s across the street from Howard Johnsons in Chula Vista, waiting for Tracy (name changed), an Army veteran Amikas had been assisting for almost a year.

The good news was that Amikas, a non-profit that I started five years ago to help homeless women and children, was going to cover the next five days at the hotel for Tracy and her three children. But I wasn’t looking forward to this conversation – where this family would go after those five days was anybody’s guess.

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When the Name’s the Game

August 25, 2015 by Source
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By Lois Lane

The following is a report on the most recent meeting of the OB Community Development Corporation (held on Wednesday, August 13).

The OB CDC lacked a quorum to vote on any action items; the discussion was provided as information from the regular agenda on the recurring topics:

  • The OB Entryway,
  • the OB Veterans Plaza,
  • and the Children’s Play Area/Adult Fitness area.
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Peace Ship Arrives in San Diego Just in Time for Veterans for Peace Convention

August 5, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Peace Ship Arrives in San Diego Just in Time for Veterans for Peace Convention

Historic Protest Ship – the Golden Rule – Met By Vets at Shelter Island

From VFP (SD Reader) / August 3, 2015

A group of “pro-peace” activists gathered on Shelter Island Sunday afternoon (Aug.2) to welcome the Golden Rule, a sailboat described as “the very first of the environmental and peace vessels to go to sea,” which came to town in advance of the annual conference of the activist group Veterans for Peace, taking place August 5-9 in San Diego.

“The Golden Rule is our peace ship — it was instrumental in helping develop the first atmospheric test ban treaty back in the early ’60s. This boat has been resurrected from the depths of the sea, and is here to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 50th anniversary of Vietnam, and the 30th anniversary of Veterans for Peace,”

says Gary Butterfield, local chairman for the convention.

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PETA Opposes SeaWorld Orca Habitat Expansion at Coastal Commission

July 24, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for PETA Opposes SeaWorld Orca Habitat Expansion at Coastal Commission

by James Sullivan/ Science Recorder / July 24, 2015

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has asked that the California Coastal Commission reject SeaWorld San Diego’s efforts to expand its killer whale tanks.

The project is estimated at $100 million, to be completed in 2018, but has yet to received endorsement from the Coastal Commission.

“This item has been postponed because of all the information submitted,” said commissioner Alex Llerandi.

“The coastal staff is taking the time to ensure all potential issues and viewpoints are considered in any final recommendations.”

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